Tuesday, March 19, 2013

On Getting Into The Zone

This is one of the essential characteristics of a leader, the Heart of a Leader, if you so will. 

You may have heard about Getting into the Zone, this imaginary place where you are completely focused, capable beyond your imagination. Just watch some of our sports stars right before the race starts. Observe their concentration, their total focus, how they bundle all their energy towards that one goal ... towards achieving what seems to be impossible ( Michael Phelps, Lindsay Vonn come to mind ...).

For a true leader getting there, getting into your Zone ... the Zone ... is the key to success too. And it ain’t easy ... is is not at all easy for these sports stars either. Getting there is a long way and requires dedication, devotion, to doing the hard work of learning, training, practice ... and it never stops. Talent helps, but it is merely the basis. You have to learn and train the skills to become the best leader you possibly can be. 

When you start you are within your comfort zone and that gives you this cozy feeling. Everything is familiar and comes easy. Sooner rather than later, however, as a leader you are confronted with something you have never done before. And that makes you immediately feel uncomfortable, makes you feel insecure. You don’t want to be there ... yet, you are. And it gets worse for you, you will encounter challenging situations, situations that will truly scare you a lot. And you feel the anxiety, being so far out of your comfort zone. And don’t forget that, as a leader, you are responsible for those you lead! They expect nothing less from you than doing what’s required, no matter what!

Every leader, just like these sports stars, has to to go through these phases Comfort Zone - Insecurity - Anxiety to be able to getting into their Zone - the Zone! That’s why learning, training, practice on an ongoing basis is of the utmost importance. When you would ask one of these sports stars why they are doing it, when it is so hard ... they would tell you that they do it just because it is so hard to do! You acknowledge your fears and then you do it anyway. That’s what dedication to learning and training, the doing whatever it takes to succeed, is getting you prepared for. 

Then you will get into your Zone .. the Zone ... where uncertainty meets possibility! That’s what people like Michael Phelps or Lindsay Vonn are experiencing in that decisive race! You are getting way beyond what you imagined as being your limits. 

Now, get to the Zone, take it, it’s yours!


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